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Job Replies: My Complaint Is Bitter

23 Then Job answered:

“Today also my complaint is bitter;[a]
    his[b] hand is heavy despite my groaning.(A)
Oh, that I knew where I might find him,
    that I might come even to his dwelling!(B)
I would lay my case before him
    and fill my mouth with arguments.(C)
I would learn what he would answer me
    and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?
    No, but he would give heed to me.
There the upright could reason with him,
    and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.(D)

“If I go forward, he is not there;
    or backward, I cannot perceive him;(E)
on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him;
    I turn[c] to the right, but I cannot see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take;
    when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.(F)
11 My foot has held fast to his steps;
    I have kept his way and have not turned aside.(G)
12 I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;
    I have treasured his words in my bosom.[d](H)
13 But he stands alone, and who can dissuade him?
    What he desires, that he does.(I)
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me,
    and many such things are in his mind.(J)
15 Therefore I am terrified at his presence;
    when I consider, I am in dread of him.
16 God has made my heart faint;
    the Almighty[e] has terrified me.(K)
17 If only I could vanish in darkness,
    and thick darkness would cover my face![f](L)


  1. 23.2 Syr Vg Tg: Heb rebellious
  2. 23.2 Gk Syr: Heb my
  3. 23.9 Syr Vg: Heb he turns
  4. 23.12 Gk: Heb words more than my daily bread
  5. 23.16 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  6. 23.17 Or But I am not destroyed by the darkness; he has concealed the thick darkness from me